You probably know by now, but our goal is to help connect the dots between your oral health and your overall health — what happens in your mouth, unlike Vegas, doesn’t stay in your mouth! Infections in your mouth get in your bloodstream and get everywhere, including your heart.
I recently went to dinner with a cardiologist. We started off just talking, but after a while I asked him: “If one of your patients had an infection in their arm, would you do cardiac surgery?” His answer was no. I went on to ask if he would if they had an infection in their leg or foot, would he do it then? The answer was still no. My last question was, “If your patient had an oral infection in their mouth that they didn’t know about, that you didn’t know about, would you perform the surgery?”
It was wonderful to watch the gears turn in his head until he finally said that every single one of his patients needs an oral examination.
We’re starting to make real progress connecting those dots. It’s been proven that the bacteria in periodontal disease are causative for cardiovascular disease- that’s the plaque that builds up on your arteries! As the plaque gets thicker, if a hunk of it breaks off and goes to the heart, that’s a heart attack. If it goes to the brain, that’s a stroke.
There are a lot of things that play a role in your health, of course, but you never want to overlook the obvious. We talk more about how your mouth can affect the rest of your body and answer a listener’s question about how to best help somebody bedridden with their oral health in this week’s episode of the “Your Filthy Mouth” podcast.
I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice: save an egg, crack a smile.
Until next week …
Charles “Dr. Chuck” Reinertsen, DMD, has been practicing dentistry in Central Florida since 1979 and is author of the book, “The Power of a Really Great Smile.” His passion is spreading the word about how the health of your mouth is intrinsically linked to the rest of your body. Learn more at www.yourfilthymouth.com.